Learner’s Submission: The Millennium Development Goals – What Nigeria Failed to Do

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals that the world has ever agreed upon. These eight-bound goals target poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development. Nigeria was an enthusiastic signatory to these goals in September of 2000 when they were agreed upon; but have since achieved no results.

The deadline for achieving these goals was slated for 2015. Writing this article today, January 22, 2015, it is safe to conclude that Nigeria failed to accomplish the goals since poverty, hunger, low standard of education,  etc are still prevalent in the country. It is safe to reach this conclusion because it is very unrealistic to think that the Nigerian government can achieve these goals between now (January) and December. It cannot be denied that the Nigerian Federal Government made attempts to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but the money allocated to the actualisation of the project ended up in the pockets of few individuals as a result of corruption, the major virus of the Nigerian state. The eventual victim had to be innocent and poor citizens who had to be deprived of the change that the implementation of these goals would have attracted. But this was possible because the government failed to monitor the entire process.

It has to be said that the Nigerian government is always guilty of being at the wrong side of decision-making. This is simply because the government is yet to imbibe the culture of engaging its citizens in policy-making.

Citizen engagement is important because it guarantees the surest strategy of accomplishing any target. Citizens who have networked and speak with one voice have the potential to serve as powerful agents who have an impact on policy-making and enforcement of new and existing policies.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is a social responsibility in which citizens would have been engaged in a number of ways, one of which would have been the involvement of members of the various Civil Society Organisations. A vibrant and informed Civil Society has a vital role to play in building enduring democracies, underpinned by good governance practices. It is not without doubt that the role of Civil Society goes beyond advocacy. Civil Society have a crucial role to play in promoting democracy and popular participation at country level, service delivery especially in the social sector where government resources and capacities are stretched and supporting to articulate and fashion appropriate strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

So, with the failure of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria, it is hoped that the Nigerian government will think of new ways of implementing subsequent programmes, and one of which should be the engagement of its citizens in various capacities. It might also be necessary to introduce a monitoring system to guarantee transparency and accountability which will ensure the delivery and successful implementation of the programme.” – Elias Ozikpu – Lagos, Nigeria

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